Last Sunday I posted a picture of me wearing a T-shirt with the words
REAL MEN PAY CHILD SUPPORT
emblazoned across it. There was a big reaction. Some men reacted with the predictable ‘not all men,’ and one friend responded like this,
Nothing but a walking sperm donor, he doesn’t get to be honoured with the title of DAD. I have nothing but respect and awe for the strength and perseverance you’ve shown in being both mum and DAD. Too bad some other men are so fragile as to think you are talking about them.
Another response was,
When men who don’t pay child support are shamed, they tend to retreat from discussion and challenge on the subject. They go into a defensive stance that blocks out even mild inquiry about their responsibilities, let alone an outright attack on their claim to manhood.
Which made one poster so mad, they said,
Why don’t the good men encourage these men to man up to responsibilities?
Can men can hold other men to a set of values? The ‘men’ I know who dodge paying for their kids have no values and feel no shame, they’re not capable of it. And their families don’t hold them to account. They come from a long line of men who avoid responsibility and any kind of admission that their behaviour needs to change.
When a woman lives in constant financial stress, lying awake night after night wondering how she’s going to get by, worrying if the electricity is going to be disconnected, knowing she will send her children to school with sniffles because she doesn’t get paid if she takes a day off work, her kids suffer. The children become stressed because their mother is not present. She’s not focused on her kids, she’s too worried about how she’s going to pay the rent and when she’s going to get a good night’s sleep.
What annoys me most is the people who aid them. How does a ‘man’ go from earning $120K per year then within a week have a taxable income of $28K? How does a ‘man’ declare a taxable income of $19K a year when his rent and bills total more than $30K? How do these liars sleep at night?
I understand not respecting or trusting your ex, but making your children suffer? I don’t get it.
Today is Father’s Day and I’m missing my long dead dad. Reading happy family messages on social media on a day like today is tough, especially when you’re doing double duty. I’m loving my strong male mates who are showing up and working hard and being great dads by making their children their main priority. I’m not loving the dads who show off their kids at public social functions but aren’t there for the hard graft of parenting. A part of me wishes that men in Western society would take the men who decide to be deadbeat and Disneyland dads to task. Tiger Woods can treat his wife and kids like shit but still be awarded player of the year awards. In our society it’s even easy to get away with not paying for your kids. I don’t know if it’s the role of government to chase up sperm donors who are not declaring income and crying poor then taking their new families out for dinner and getting on with a newly invented life as though the children they had first are a part of their past that they don’t need to revisit. The Child Support Agency doesn’t seem to be highly effective. I’m not advocating a return to the strict moral code of the 1950s but a few conversations along the lines of ‘mate lift your game’ and ‘real men pay child support,’ I think would help us ladies struggling with bearing the full load of child rearing. Yes we chose to have our kids, but in most cases, no we didn’t deliberately choose boys masquerading as men who have relinquished their responsibilities to their children. Real men man up.